Know when to leave your aging parents in an old age home
Gaining an insight into situations that call for the need and care of old age homes in comparison to situations that don't.
Like most things in life, leaving your parents in a nursing or old age home is like a two-sided coin. Having read several articles that discuss the same idea and having grown up in a house with my grandparents and parents, I believe that it is an honor to be able to take care of your aging parents at home. I say the same because watching them age gracefully is an invaluable lesson you cannot receive from elsewhere while bringing out the best version of your caring and tolerable self.
But unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough with their circumstances to receive the similar opportunity. The following is an attempt to divide the discussion into two—for when it is a better decision to send your aging parents to a nursing home and when not. Let's start with the latter.
Here are some of the reasons why leaving old age parents at home should be a guilt-free consideration
The idea of leaving the two people who nurtured you to become who you are today can be nerve-wracking and can leave you with sleepless nights full of guilt. However, here are some of the cases in which they'd do better at a nursing home with 24-hour care than at home.
In the case that your parent is not safe at home by themselves and moving in with them is not a possibility. There are several reasons that could stop you from being able to move in with your aging parents — be it financial, familial or cultural. Say you live in a different city with your partner and your kids and moving cities would not only require you to risk your careers but also upset your children's well-settled lives.
Moreover, maybe you live with your partner's parents making the option of moving over even harder. Even if you happen to be your parent's next door neighbor, you might find your ailing parent's conditioning worsening to the point that they require 24-hour assistance which would eventually require you to set aside all your duties to attend to them.
In such cases, the first step should be trying to afford to keep a half-day or full-day nurse for your parent. This would serve to be ideal because you would be hitting two birds with one stone. You'd assure your parents' safety while giving them the comfort of their own house.
If this too isn't an option due to financial reasons, try to have an involved discussion with your parents of considering a nursing home of their choice. Explain to them the reason why that might be a better option by discussing the safety advantages of knowing that a nurse or medical care will always be around to cater to their needs.
However, if your parents are unable to have the discussion because of a physical or a mental illness, you might want to have the discussion with other people in their lives—your siblings, aunts, uncles etc to make a more informed decision and bring them all on the same page. Furthermore, consulting a doctor in this case in regards to whether the 24*7 surveillance of a nursing home is required or not can be beneficial. In case your doctor says that your parent's mental state of comfort and well-being is more important than her physical health, and that moving them to a nursing home against their wishes would deteriorate their condition, you might want to consider other alternatives.
Some of the diseases that don't make it safe for patients to live without 24-hour care are listed below.
When their cognitive abilities are impaired by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, brain tumors, or a stroke
An estimated 5.3 million Americans above the age 65 suffer from the above-mentioned diseases. It can be dangerous to leave patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any other neurological dysfunctions alone for even a couple of hours. On a regular basis, they aren't able to care for themselves when it comes to their personal hygiene, meals and maintaining a safe environment because their rights and wrongs get blurred.
Chronic diseases and a weakening immune system unfortunately only become worse with age and asks for more attention than the day before. In such cases where your parents might find themselves falling sick every other day - you might even be doing them a favor by letting a nursing home attend to their needs.
If your parents become physically disabled due to an injury or paralysis, it might take more than just physical strength to make sure they are well exercised to avoid deterioration of the working body parts. Trained home care providers have the experience and equipment that facilitate their transportation to ensure a speedy recovery or prevent worse damage.
All in all, old age comes a full circle making you as dependent as you were when you were a baby. As long as you spend enough quality time with your parents, you shouldn't fret about or feel guilty about sending them to a nursing home.
Here are some cases where having your aging parents at home is the best idea
Sending your healthy parents to an old age home just because they are old is not a good enough reason. First of all, you should be grateful for having parents in relatively good health at that age, because there are a truck-load of bed-ridden diseases that can make life for them miserable. Excuses of them being too needy, intervening with your social life, being a financial burden are not good enough reasons especially if they are in good mental condition and aren't happy about the move. The benefits you reap from spending time with your healthy aging parents are many more than the sacrifices you forego.
#1 Give back
It is your duty to take care of them as much as it was their duty to take of you as a growing child. People often complain about being emotionally rejected as a child by abusive parents, using the same as a reason to not care for them in their old age. That is like taking revenge and not being a reasonable, forgiving and an overall judicial individual!
#2 Money is supposed to facilitate your life, not complicate it
If it boils down to them being a financial burden, there's always a better solution to that than sending them to an old-age home. Start with having a healthy discussion with them regarding looking into retirement saving plans and using the money you would otherwise spend on a nursing home as monthly allowances.
#3 Realize how much of a boon they are
You give your children and family the beautiful gift of grandparents. Heard the quote: grandparents and grandchildren get along so well because they have common enemies? Well, it is researched and found that children who grow up with the love and care of grandparents have a more wholesome upbringing with a stronger nurturing, tolerable and understanding side to them.
#4 Open your arms to a larger family
Make your grandparents feel like they are a part of your family by involving them in your day to day activities. Allow them to babysit your children while you spend some alone time with your partner, allow them to engage in fun activities with your children—like reading them to sleep—to create a stronger emotional bond as a family. Try to eat one meal in a day together to promote discipline in your family.
#5 There is no end to learning
Treat your parents like a chamber full of life's secrets and experiences. Aging comes with many realizations, regrets and lessons learnt. Your parents will be more than happy to share them with you only if you allow them. Use them to better your life and decisions. Whoever said life didn't come with a manual, didn't connect with their parents well enough!
#6 Practice your skill of time-management
Lastly, they help you hone the priceless skill of time management. You might wonder that if you only have 16 hours in a day, how are you to work a full-time job, take care of your children, take care of your house, spend time with your partner, and take care of your parents.
Well if there's a will there's a way;-you can use the situation to your advantage by letting your parents take responsibility of some of your duties such as preparing your meals and looking over your children.
Summing it up, the AARP survey found that 90% of grown-up grandchildren agreed that their grandparents played an extremely refreshing and vital role in their success.
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